Weekend Getaway Calendar for 2019: Plan Your Travel Now!

Tripoto

With quite a few long weekends coming up in 2019, there couldn’t be better time to freeze your travel plans for the year. With so many diverse experiences to offer, the many cities and travel experiences in India are definitely worth adding to your bucket list. So go on, make 2019 the year of travel, and a memorable one at that. Here’s the Long Weekend Calendar for 2019 and some travel ideas to help you make the most of them.

Weekend 1: Saturday 12 January, Sunday 13 January (Lohri), Monday 14 January (Makar Sankranti/Pongal)

Photo of Kutch, Gujarat, India by Ragini Mehra
Photo of Kutch, Gujarat, India by Ragini Mehra

As the New Year begins, we are all in a festive and celebratory mood. Heading to one of the most vibrant and colourful festivals in India during this time is only befitting. You guessed it right! A long weekend in January calls for a trip to Kutch for the Rann Utsav. This festival, held from November to February, sees the coming alive of the massive white desert with effervescent folk performances, an incredible display of Gujarati arts, culture and traditions, camps set up amidst all the liveliness and people from across the globe coming to participate in the cultural extravaganza. Talk about welcoming the New Year on a high note!

Weekend 2: Saturday 2 March, Sunday 3 March, Monday 4 March (Maha Shivaratri)

Weekend 3: Thursday 21 March (Holi), Friday 22 March (Take a leave), Saturday 23 March, Sunday 24 March

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Photo of Andamans, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Ragini Mehra

The warm waters of Andamans are the most welcoming during March, which is a popular time for all kinds of water sports here. With countless diving spots around Havelock, there’ll never be a dull moment for adventure enthusiasts in the islands. Havelock Island is home to the iconic Radhanagar Beach, the secluded Kala Pathar Beach and the Elephant Beach, known to be a popular spot for activities like swimming, snorkelling, speed boats & banana boat rides.

Jolly Buoy Island in Port Blair is where you can head to if you wish to spot colourful underwater corals. The crystal clear waters here are a delight for tourists, and offer pristine views that are sure to leave a lasting impression on you.

Weekend 4: Thursday 18 April (Take a leave), Friday 19 April: Good Friday, Saturday 20 April, Sunday 21 April (Easter Sunday)

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Photo of Bir Billing Paragliding, Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ragini Mehra

April is among the best months for paragliding in Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh. Hop on to your very own parachute, go for tandem paragliding with an instructor or pick one of the many trails for trekking – there’s lots to fuel your adventurous side in Bir Billing. Often known as the Paragliding Capital of India, Billing, the point where you take flight from, is 14 kilometres away and 1000 metre higher than Bir, the landing point.

Bir is also home to a number of Buddhist monasteries courtesy the Tibetan population here.

Weekend 5: Saturday 10 August, Sunday 11 August, Monday 12 August (Bakrid)

Photo of Igatpuri, Maharashtra, India by Ragini Mehra

Monsoon is when the Western Ghats come alive with greenery and tons of meandering waterfalls. The Bakrid weekend is a great time to plan a getaway to a hill station near Mumbai. Among the many hill stations here, Igatpuri is a retreat that offers a welcome break from the humdrum of city life in ways more than one. Apart from being a beautiful hamlet, it is home to the peaceful Dhamma Giri academy, dedicated to the teaching of Vipassana meditation. From month-long courses to sessions that last a few hours, a Vipassana course here is a must experience.

Weekend 6: Thursday 15 August (Independence Day), Friday 16 August (Take a leave), Saturday 17 August, Sunday 18 August

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Photo of Kerala, India by Ragini Mehra

With 4 days in hand, you can take the liberty of planning a slightly more far away and more expensive getaway. How about a trip to Kerala this time? Leaving for Kerala on Wednesday evening gives you 5 nights in God’s Own Country and a chance to get up close and personal with nature. Begin your trip with Munnar, which is at its verdant best during monsoon. As you head to the hill station of Mattupetty, you can see the Mattupetty Lake and Dam in all their glory, making them a delight for shutterbugs and nature lovers alike.

On your trip to Kerala, don’t miss the gushing Athirapally Falls, located about 45 kilometres from Thrissur. The shooting location of the song Barso Re from the movie Guru, this is a great place to soak in the beauty of nature and spend some peaceful moments. Since this is not the peak season for travel to Kerala, you will surely get good deals for your trip too.

Weekend 7: Saturday 31 August, Sunday 1 September, Monday 2 September (Ganesh Chaturthi)

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Photo of Tarkarli Beach, Maharashtra by Ragini Mehra

Tarkarli in Maharashtra is a must on your 2019 bucket list because of reasons more than one. Stargazing is a popular activity here during this time, and so are a number of water sports. Beach bums can head to the scenic Tarkarli Beach and spend time building castles in the sand or opting for more thrilling activities like scuba diving, snorkelling and more. Spend your nights doing nothing but gazing at the countless stars and spotting Orion, Ursa Major, Sagitta, Corona Borealis and other constellations we have grown up reading about.

Weekend 8: Saturday 7 September, Sunday 8 September, Monday 9 September (Take a leave), Tuesday 10 September (Muharram), Wednesday 11 September (Onam - Restricted)

Photo of Singapore by Ragini Mehra

Rare chances like these (read a weekend lasting 5 days) must not be missed! How about heading to Singapore to make the most of this 2019 long weekend? If you fancy a fun-filled day at the beach, Sentosa is your go-to place, and offers every water activity that you can imagine. What's more, get mesmerized by the larger-than-life trees at Gardens by the Bay, pose in front of the iconic Merlion, pamper the child in you at Universal Studios or prepare yourself for incredible encounters with wildlife as you go for the Night Safari, the world's first nocturnal zoo. Singapore also offers a world of shopping for everyone, be it the posh Orchard Road or the Mustafa store open 24*7! 

Weekend 9: Saturday 5 October, Sunday 6 October, Monday 7 October (Take a leave), Tuesday 8 October (Dusshera and Durga Puja)

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Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Ragini Mehra

History buffs will love spending this 2019 long weekend in Hampi, a city brimming with a rich history and culture. Hampi is more beautiful than ever just after the monsoon months are over and shutterbugs are in for a treat during this time. Among the many temples and ancient ruins here, some that you definitely must add to your itinerary are Virupaksha Temple (dating back to the 7th century), Vijaya Vittala Temple (for its musical pillars and moving stone chariot), Achyutaraya Temple (for its intricate detailing and architecture) and Lotus Mahal Hampi (for its tranquil lawns).

Trekkers can head to Matanga Hill for picturesque trails and click-worthy sunrise and sunset views.

Weekend 10: Saturday 26 October, Sunday 27 October, Monday 28 October (Diwali), Tuesday 29 October (Bhai Dooj)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Ragini Mehra

During this long weekend in October, plan a trip to Darjeeling with your family to celebrate Diwali in an unconventional way. This is a time when taking off from work or school won’t be tough so it is easier to plan a trip. What’s more, Darjeeling has something to offer for everyone so you’re sure to have a memorable holiday. Spend peaceful moments at the Peace Pagoda, take in stunning views of the Himalayan peaks from Tiger Hill, get set for a host of adventure activities at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Singalila National Park, walk through the tea estates to learn all about how India's favourite beverage is made, and board the toy train for a joyride through Darjeeling’s most charming landscapes.

Weekend 11: Saturday 9 November, Sunday 10 November (Eid e Milad), Monday 11 November (Take a leave), Tuesday 12 November (Guru Nanak Jayanti)

Photo of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India by Ragini Mehra
Photo of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India by Ragini Mehra
Photo of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India by Ragini Mehra

The winter months are great for a royal visit to Rajasthan, and what could be better than to go beyond the usual and explore Jaisalmer. Spend a night at the Sam Sand Dunes, book yourself a desert safari and enjoy a beautiful night, in the middle of nowhere, under a starlit sky. Spend a couple of days exploring the many attractions of Jaisalmer. Step back in time as you visit Jaisalmer Fort or Sonar Quila, one of the very few ‘living forts’ in India and you will notice a huge population of the city residing within the fort complex itself.

Also visit Patwon ki Haveli for its outstanding architecture, Gadisar Lake for calming boat rides and the Folklore Museum to know more about the arts and culture of the region.

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